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Simmons, Jeffrey
U.S. (1968 - )
Oil and alkyd on canvas
26 x 24 3/8 x 1 1/4 in. (66. x 61.9 x 3.2 cm) overall
Gift of Kim Richter
FA 2007.14

Pontian is from Simmons’s “Rotary” series, paintings that function as abstract portraits of Catholic saints. The Catholic Encyclopedia identifies Pontian as a 3rd century Roman bishop and Pope from 230 to 235 who was exiled by the Roman emperor to Sardinia in 235 and forced to resign his reign. But a direct connection to this historical individual is not Simmons’s primary motivation. Rather, the circles of painting suggest cycles of nature or a spirit’s emanations. The concentric forms seem to vibrate with a colorful life force. -- Label copy for Vortexhibition Polyphonica: Opus I, October 3, 2009 to February 9, 2010.

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